U.S.-MEXICO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER; BILATERAL TECHNICAL EXCHANGES FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE BORDER REGION

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) maintains a strong commitment to transfer the results of its science and technology programs to the private sector. The intent is to apply innovative and sometimes advanced technologies to address needs while simultaneously stimulating new commercial business opportunities. Such focused “technology transfer” was evident in the late 1990s as the results of DOE investments in environmental management technology development led to new tools for characterizing and remediating contaminated sites as well as handling and minimizing the generation of hazardous wastes. The Department’s Office of Environmental Management was attempting to reduce the cost, accelerate the ... continued below

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Jimenez, Richard, D., Dr. October 1, 2007.

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Description

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) maintains a strong commitment to transfer the results of its science and technology programs to the private sector. The intent is to apply innovative and sometimes advanced technologies to address needs while simultaneously stimulating new commercial business opportunities. Such focused “technology transfer” was evident in the late 1990s as the results of DOE investments in environmental management technology development led to new tools for characterizing and remediating contaminated sites as well as handling and minimizing the generation of hazardous wastes. The Department’s Office of Environmental Management was attempting to reduce the cost, accelerate the schedule, and improve the efficacy of clean-up efforts in the nuclear weapons complex. It recognized that resulting technologies had broader world market applications and that their commercialization would further reduce costs and facilitate deployment of improved technology at DOE sites. DOE’s Albuquerque Operations Office (now part of the National Nuclear Security Administration) began in 1995 to build the foundation for a technology exchange program with Mexico. Initial sponsorship for this work was provided by the Department’s Office of Environmental Management. As part of this effort, Applied Sciences Laboratory, Inc. (ASL) was contracted by the DOE Albuquerque office to identify Mexico’s priority environmental management needs, identify and evaluate DOE-sponsored technologies as potential solutions for those needs, and coordinate these opportunities with decision makers from Mexico’s federal government. That work led to an improved understanding of many key environmental challenges that Mexico faces and the many opportunities to apply DOE’s technologies to help resolve them. The above results constituted, in large part, the foundation for an initial DOE-funded program to apply the Department’s technology base to help address some of Mexico’s challenging environmental issues. The results also brought focus to the potential contributions that DOE’s science and technology could make for solving the many difficult, multi-generational problems faced by hundreds of bi-national communities along the 2,000-mile shared border of the United States and Mexico. Efforts to address these U.S.-Mexico border issues were initially sponsored by the DOE’s Albuquerque and Carlsbad offices. In subsequent years, the U.S. Congress directed appropriations to DOE’s Carlsbad office to address public health, safety and security issues prevalent within U.S.-Mexico border communities. With ASL’s assistance, DOE’s Albuquerque office developed contacts and formed partnerships with interested U.S and Mexican government, academic, and commercial organizations. Border industries, industrial effluents, and public health conditions were evaluated and documented. Relevant technologies were then matched to environmental problem sets along the border. Several technologies that were identified and subsequently supported by this effort are now operational in a number of U.S.-Mexico border communities, several communities within Mexico’s interior states, and in other parts of Latin America. As a result, some serious public health threats within these communities caused by exposure to toxic airborne pollutants have been reduced. During this time, DOE’s Carlsbad office hosted a bilateral conference to establish a cross-border consensus on what should be done on the basis of these earlier investigative efforts. Participating border region stakeholders set an agenda for technical collaborations. This agenda was supported by several Members of Congress who provided appropriations and directed DOE’s Carlsbad office to initiate technology demonstration projects. During the following two years, more than 12 private-sector and DOE-sponsored technologies were demonstrated in partnership with numerous border community stakeholders. All technologies were well received and their effectiveness at addressing health, safety and security issues was successfully demonstrated. Several of these technologies, including those noted above and demonstrated under this effort, are now operational. Furthermore, a number of public and national security issues unique to the U.S.-Mexico border were brought to the attention of the federal government and are now being addressed, largely through the efforts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Program results demonstrated the value and effectiveness of the program’s process for technology exchanges. Opportunities now exist to transition the program from its successful initial stage to one where it can more effectively address a broader spectrum of multi-disciplinary problems that impact millions of U.S. and Mexican citizens. Substantial benefits would accrue to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border were the two countries to continue this collaboration.

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  • Report No.: DOE/AL/67122-1
  • Grant Number: AC04-01AL67122
  • DOI: 10.2172/922940 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 922940
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893776

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:03 p.m.

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Jimenez, Richard, D., Dr. U.S.-MEXICO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER; BILATERAL TECHNICAL EXCHANGES FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE BORDER REGION, report, October 1, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893776/: accessed December 9, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.